In this episode, I’m sharing how writing in your own voice can help you in business, and talking about how procrastination might be holding you back.
Link that Ruby mentions in this podcast: 7 Things To Try When You’ve Got Writer’s Block.
In this episode, Ruby shares how perception can teach you a message about being more visible in your business
Click the play button below to listen, or scroll down and click ‘Read full transcript’ if you prefer to read the post.
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When you start running your own business you want to become known for what you do. You want to attract clients and you have this vision of having a lifestyle of freedom that will work around your family or other life commitments/dreams.
To become known for what you do though, you need to stand out from the crowd. There’s a lot of noise ‘out there’ so you need to set yourself apart somehow.
One of the things that I have done over the years is get into writing, whether it’s writing a blog post or newsletter or recently being a co-author of a personal development book. Writing has been a skill I’ve been working on and developing over time.
The problem is, that sometimes there’s a part of you that’s scared to share the real you, what will people think if you’re different? What if they don’t like what you put out there? What will your friends, peers, old work colleagues say/think about you when they read what you’re up to, or what you think about now that you’re running your own business? It can hold us back.
I write the majority of my own copy. I do work with copywriters from time to time, but what’s interesting when I do is that my good friends will notice it’s not my writing. They will tell me that it hasn’t got my ‘Ruby sparkle’ as one friend says.
Recently, I needed to write an article for a big coaching blog. The readership is high, the articles are fabulous and I had one word to work with in terms of inspiration. I had lots of different ideas about how I could approach this piece of work, with my usual little mind maps scoping out my ideas.
The trouble was I couldn’t start. I had it in my diary one day, and then it moved to the next day, and the next and the deadline was slowly approaching and I didn’t have a single word down on paper.
Now, let me explain, my natural writing style is that I write very last minute, that’s when my best ideas flow, but with other things needing to be done I wanted to get ahead of the game. I’ve had coaching and mentoring around my last-minute-itis but have come to the conclusion that it’s when I do my best work so I just need to factor in a bit of buffer time to make sure I have a contingency plan, but back to this article, where were the words? There were just no words.
As I work on procrastination with my clients, I had a few tricks up my sleeve on how to manage it, so first I reached out for some support. I shared in my Rock Your Visibility Bootcamp that I had hit a block and that I was declaring this article would be written. (By the way, It’s ok to share your vulnerabilities with your clients/tribe – they like to know you’re human, and it makes them realise they’re not the only ones, plus it kicks your butt!) My Rock Your Visibility Bootcamp is all about being visible in your business too, so it was a great one to share.
So, my next strategy was to question what was really going on. Why was I so blocked on this article? Maybe it was because it was just one word that I had to work with, and I had too many directions I could go in. Maybe it was because I just needed to start, writing one word might have got my creative juices flowing. Maybe it was that I needed to write last minute and not so early.
So, having shared what needed to be done, and gathered some accountability, I decided to just write. I decided to write whatever came up and see where it took me.
I got a page written and then did what I call a harsh edit to get it nearer to where I wanted it to be and I messaged my friend to ask her to read it for me.
She said, “It’s a great article, but you need to ‘Ruby-fy’ it.”
Hmmm. Bingo, I realised what had been going on. I was trying to fit into what I thought the person wanted for their blog, to fit in with what everyone else was writing – their style. I was trying to be ‘professional’ and missed the point that I might have been asked to write because my style is different.
So the one big reason for writing in your own voice is this … It will help you to stand out from the crowd, to be more visible (plus there’s the bonus of it being soooo much easier when you do!)
So I went back to the article and the words starting flowing, the article got ‘Ruby’fied’ and I hit send on the email. What was interesting too, was that one of my top 3 values is authenticity, so of course if I wasn’t writing as just ‘little old me’ then I wasn’t being authentic either. No wonder I couldn’t get anything down on paper. I like to show up online in exactly the same way as I am offline, so there’s no mismatch.
As Elizabeth Gilbert, who wrote Big Magic, says, ‘All procrastination is fear’. So what was I really afraid of? I was afraid that if I wrote in my own voice, and shared my quirky side that people would think I wasn’t professional enough, or worse I might not be asked to write again. Is that true? I don’t know, maybe I won’t be asked to write again. What I do know though is that my article felt so much better once I’d put my own spin on it, once I’d thrown out all of the perceptions around what it ‘should’ be and replaced it with what I wanted it to be. When I read it back it was definitely more me.
Writing is a fabulous way to build visibility, for you to be viewed as credible in what you do, and to become the go-to guy or gal for your particular field – whether it’s writing your blog posts, a script for your podcast, or guest articles. It’s especially great if you are one of those introverted solopreneurs that doesn’t want to do the whole face to face thing, like video, Periscope etc. Just because others run their business that way doesn’t mean you have to. It’s your business, run it your way. Find YOUR thing.
You can build your business through writing
Sharing your expertise with the world through your writing is a great way to build rapport with your ideal clients, plus you can educate them in areas they might not yet know.
If you’re finding it difficult to write that blog post or newsletter, or even a single LinkedIn or Facebook post then gather your troops, share your challenge and get support. Then ask yourself what’s really going on. Maybe, you’re trying to fit into a perceived mould, like I was, and once you start just writing authentically, just as you, the words will flow for you too.
Where are you procrastinating with your writing?
If you get writers’ block, you might like my article, 7 things to do when you get writers’ block. There’s a link in the show notes for you.
Your call to action this week is this – Find YOUR voice, forget what you think you should be sharing and share content that’s completely you. If it feels uncomfortable, start by just sharing one thing. As you start to step into that place of feeling more comfortable, you really will find things so much easier.